Traditional product roadmaps are a list of planned features, designed to keep development teams accountable to executives. While roadmaps are a wonderful theory, these tools yield mixed results. Feature roadmaps fail 90% of the time, according to Marty Cagan, since they quickly become rigid and outdated.
Long-term feature plans have always been a questionable approach, but they’re even more of a problem in current business conditions. Entire industries have faced extreme uncertainty since the onset of COVID-19, creating a need for new, flexible operating models. The pandemic has also sped up enterprise Android deployments by years. A McKinsey survey found that companies are three times likelier than before the crisis to conduct at least 80 percent of customer interactions on mobile or digital.
Organizations face an imperative to change and pivot into new models of connecting with customers. Constant uncertainty has created a need for new approaches to management and technology, increasing the value of agile models such as Android DevOps. Replacing traditional product roadmaps with an Android DevOps practice can create a capacity for real-time change.
3 Ways to Create a Responsive Android DevOps Practice
The most resilient organizations are responsive at every level of operations. These businesses can pivot leadership, strategies, and deployed technologies rapidly, responding before changes become a crisis situation.
Responsiveness isn’t a matter of luck or experience. Instead, responsiveness is the product of early detection, learning, and shared operating principles – all of which can have a transformative impact on Android development and operations.
1. Early Warning Systems
Organizations need to strengthen their understanding of crisis events by detecting early warning signals before events become a missed opportunity or crisis. Monitoring and continuous response are important parts of DevOps theory. And, early detection is an especially important factor for businesses that rely on mission-critical Android devices. A roadmap for Android DevOps needs to address how early warning signs will be monitored, analyzed, and acted on.
Real-time, analytic, and predictive response are all equally important parts ways that DevOps organizations can catch early warning signs, according to Randy Bias. All three can be applied to the Android DevOps model and should be included in an organization’s roadmap.
- Analytic Response
Manual analysis of customer success factors to provide improvement or bug fix insights to the development and operations teams. This could include ongoing analysis of app or device usage, measures of customer tasks completed, latency, and crashes.
- Real-Time Continuous Response
A mature DevOps infrastructure can automate response to known issues before they result in failed deployments or downtime, such as the use of deployment pipelines to optimize the success rate of changes.
- Predictive Continuous Response
The use of historic, simulated, and telemetry data to understand emerging requirements before they impact the end user experience. Predictive response can lead to predictive maintenance and minimize downtime.
Early warning signs are not a part of traditional feature roadmaps. But, they’re an important way to unite Android DevOps teams around operations and customer success data. Warning signs enable Android development and operations teams to focus their development resources on real-world issues and observations.
2. Iterative Planning
Android DevOps teams need to develop a common understanding of events based on the monitoring and act quickly. Instead of quarterly feature-planning meetings, businesses need to plan constantly and move quickly to the design phase after discovery.
The planning phase of Android DevOps should be continuous to ensure a true response to unfolding conditions. Iterative planning requires production data, but it also requires a culture shift to DevOps. Product managers should be prepared to challenge their assumptions entirely, learn quickly, and embrace failure.
Often, teams will discover that resources are best used to capture opportunities instead of developing long-awaited features. Iterative planning requires diverse perspectives and deep subject-matter expertise. Android DevOps teams also need to collaborate closely with customer success colleagues to genuinely understand the customer experience.
3. Customer-Focused Operating Principles
DevOps teams need a shared set of operating principles to measure the success of every action taken throughout the Android lifecycle. DevOps metrics are traditionally linked to throughout and quality, including common measures of deployment frequency or mean-time-to-restore. While DevOps metrics are dramatically more effective than a feature roadmap, they’re still missing a critically important element – a focus on the customer.
Customer happiness and success are, ultimately, much more important success measures than change failure rate or production incidents. While throughput and quality are critically-important, they’re not customer-focused measures of Android DevOps.
Single-purpose Android devices are increasingly the main channel for communications between organizations and their customers and employees. As a result, the success of Android DevOps is no longer separate from the success of an organization. Development and operations teams need a clear view of customer success metrics to make the right decisions in real-time.
Android Strategies for Uncertain Business Conditions
“Master plans — like the feature list roadmap — in high uncertainty environments are a mistake, because they encourage following the plan when it is no longer the best path,” writes Sergio Schuler.
While COVID-19 has accelerated Android adoption across industries, it’s also created an uncertain road ahead for countless businesses. Change is likely to be the only constant. Embracing the principles of Android DevOPs can enable organizations to plan effectively in real-time and respond quickly to the unexpected.